[2][21] The cave entrance appears to have reopened during the mid-Holocene transgression (c. 4,000–3000 years ago), when high sea levels eroded away most of the dune. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 6180–6185. [15][16][17][21] The awls that have been recovered are primarily made on long-bone shaft fragments, are shaped by scraping and may have been used to pierce through soft material – such as leather – or shell beads. 2011. Climate, Environment. Over 65 beads have been discovered in the MSA levels, all of which are tick shells, Nassarius kraussianus, and most of them have been carefully perforated, polished, and in some cases deliberately heat-treated to a dark-grey to black coloration (d'Errico and colleagues 2015). (2013) OSL and TL dating of the Middle Stone Age sequence at Diepkloof Rock Shelter (South Africa): a clarification. The rock shelter is located in a steep wave-cut calcrete cliff, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of Cape Town, South Africa. At some stage – and in between the prehistoric occupation of the cave site – these blocks have fallen down from the rock face above, effectively preventing site erosion and allowing sediments to stabilize and accumulate in front of the cave's drip line. [20], The huge variety of faunal and the shell fish remains recovered from all parts of the Blombos Cave Middle Stone Age sequence demonstrate that people during this period practiced a diverse set of subsistence and procurements strategies and were able to effectively hunt, trap and collect coastal, as well as terrestrial, resources. [18], The manufacture sequence of Still Bay points has been divided into four main production phases. Department of Anthropology. Goodwin, Astley John Hilary & Van Riet Lowe, C. (1929) The Stone Age cultures of South Africa. (2013) An improved OSL chronology for the Still Bay layers at Blombos Cave, South Africa: further tests of single-grain dating procedures and a re-evaluation of the timing of the Still Bay industry across southern Africa. [10] The surfaces of both pieces were intentionally modified by scraping and grinding, and the engraved pattern formed a distinct cross-hatched design in combination with parallel incised lines. Department of Archaeology, History, Culture and Religion. Southern African Humanities, 18, 27–41. The cave is in a south-facing cliff face 34.5 meters above sea level, ca. Journal of Human Evolution 58: 90–102. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37, 1359–1366. In enclosed sites such as rockshelters, trampling marks are likely direct evidence for human occupations and can possibly be used to infer occupational patterns. Henshilwood, C.S. The aim is to follow an even broader multi-disciplinary approach, and the 10-year programme include cognitive studies, neuroscience, geoscience, climate modelling and reconstruction, fauna etc. Inside the cave, scientists have uncovered Homo sapiens' teeth, spear points, bone tools, engravings and beads made from seashells. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40, 579–594. Henshilwood, C.S. Jacobs, Z, et al. In 1997 GSF8 was renamed Blombos Cave and given its current acronym: BBC. Until recently, the first use of personal ornaments was thought to occur with the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe, some 40,000 years ago. [5] From 1999 to 2011 in total ten field seasons, each six weeks long, have been carried out at the cave site. (2009) Out of Africa: modern human origins special feature: additional evidence on the use of personal ornaments in the Middle Paleolithic of North Africa. Since the excavation in Blombos Cave began, more than 500 points or point fragments have been recovered, of which 352 have been described in detail. Significance The discovery of the abstract ochre stone engravings - predating similar megalithic art by 65,000 years - is suggestive of an advanced people capable of generating and understanding symbols and abstraction. 2009 – TV film made with Henshilwood at Blombos Cave for the Swedish Broadcasting Society Directed by Martin Widman and presented by Lasse Berg. 2009. The M2 level at BBC was a period of fewer and shorter occupations than either earlier or later periods. Science 334:219-222. [20] Fish are more abundant in the Later Stone Age but a wider range of species are present in the Middle Stone Age sequence. From the initial excavations conducted in the early 1990s, the Blombos Cave project has adopted and established new and innovative research agendas in the study of southern African prehistory. California, McGraw-Hill. In other words, age-related taphonomic processes have resulted in the loss of many fish bones, and it is likely that more fish were originally deposited in the Middle Stone Age levels than have been recovered through archaeological excavations. 2011. 2008. 2016. Still Bay points have bifacially retouched sides, are elliptic to lanceolate shaped and most often they have two pointed apices. They also brought seal, dolphin and probably whale meat back to the cave. As of 2016, excavations have included an area of about 40 sqm (430 sq ft). When the excavation started at Blombos Cave in 1992 the cave entrance was partially sealed by dune sand, and about 20 cm of sterile aeolian deposit covered the interior Later Stone Age deposit. 100,000–70,000 years BP – are considered to represent greater ecological niche adaptation, a more diverse set of subsistence and procurements strategies, adoption of multi-step technology and manufacture of composite tools, stylistic elaboration, increased economic and social organisation and occurrence of symbolically mediated behaviour. This means they were able to hunt large animals, such as eland, but also gathered, collected or trapped small animals such as tortoises, hyraxes and dune mole rats.

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